Fresh from a highly contested election, the president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr has pledged a new chapter for the country of 110 million people. All eyes are now on his policy initiatives and whether he will fulfil his campaign promises to solve the country’s development challenges.
From achieving food self-sufficiency to improved access to quality healthcare and education, to tackling climate change and plastic pollution, the way forward is fraught with challenges. The latest Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Index Report ranks the Philippines in 95th place out of 163 countries on its progress on the SDGs, indicating that while the country has made some strides, it has a long way to go in achieving its targets.
Furthermore, the Marcos Jr administration has inherited a P3.2 trillion pandemic-induced debt and needs to raise P249 billion per year in the next 10 years to be able to pay off borrowings, while balancing debt reduction with urgent investments needed in infrastructure development and job creation.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank’s newly introduced Sustainable Finance Framework, which now requires banks to report on their energy investments, is a step towards increased disclosure and better decision making in the country’s development. Experts also point to the country’s moratorium on new coal projects as creating an opportunity to onstream US$30 billion worth of clean energy projects by 2030 that will spur economic growth and improve energy security.
What new policy initiatives can we expect, and how can sustainable finance play a key role in the country’s sustainable development roadmap? This 8 September, Eco-Business Philippines and its partners will gather the country’s senior policy and business leaders as well as sustainability and finance experts to discuss the state of play and the road ahead for the Philippines under the Marcos presidency.